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The Field

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The Field by Baptiste Paul,  illustrated beautifully by Jacqueline Alcantara

A winner of many awards in 2018,  The Field shows and tells the story of a girl, her brother and some friends as they pick up a soccer game in rural St. Lucia, the author’s home of origin.  Through stunning illustrations full of movement and spare dialogue, the pair tell a story familiar and yet full of new considerations.

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Students say,

The illustrations told the story even without the words.

It was fun to learn new words.

The author could have used more words but he explained the story with few words and with the illustrations.

Maybe it could be confusing without the illustrations.

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Teachers say

Look at how the author didn’t stop the story at goodnight, time for bed.  What did he do there?  He gave us a jump on a new story.  

Why did the author and illustrator use three pictures here and so few words?  What’s happening now?  How did they tell that part? 

How you might use this story?

The flyleaf begins the tale and is a perfect place to stop and consider what might happen in this story.

There are multiple problems in this story and ample room to stop and consider what might the characters do next to solve their problems.

The book is ripe for retell opportunities as the text doesn’t explain it all.

Suggested for ages 4-8, all elementary teachers and students could mine this book for dialogue,  leads, endings, describing a cultural phenomena, and pairing illustrations and text.  This is a wonderful book to keep in your writing/reading conferring bag.

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